Dr. Chung’s research focuses on discovering how morphological changes of cell membranes affect protein signaling and metastasis in cancer. She recently showed that receptor protein overexpression alone, in the absence of signaling activity, can deform cell membranes and dismantle cell contacts. This suggests the protein-lipid interaction at the cell membranes can play a key role in cancer cell dissemination during metastatic progression. Alterations of membrane structure and composition by the physical effects of protein overexpression challenge the current paradigm of the activity-malignancy relationship by invoking a biophysical mechanism. The current focus of the Chung lab is to elucidate the biophysical roles of cell membrane remodeling in cancer. To this end, we use cutting-edge biophysical techniques, including single molecule optical tracking, super-resolution microscopy, and novel statistical analyses, in conjunction with conventional biological tools in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and cancer biology, to characterize the cellular changes that contribute to metastatic progression. Single molecule approaches can reveal entirely new information about the intrinsic behavior of individual molecules and their interactions with the local environment. The Chung lab’s broad interdisciplinary expertise in physics, chemistry, and biology, advanced imaging tools, and experience in drug discovery and development within the biotechnology industry provide a strong foundation for an innovative research program.